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Full text of "A History of the Personal Computer"

Chapter 19 Other Companies, Organizations 
and People 

19.1 — Early Organizations 

Amateur Computer Society (ACS) 

Was formed in May 1966 by Stephen B. Gray. It was 
created as "a nonprofit group open to anyone interested 
in building and operating a digital computer that will 
at least perform automatic multiplication and division, 
or is of a comparable complexity." A publication 
entitled ACS Newsletter started in August 1966. Grey has 
stated that "ACS membership never totaled more than a 
few hundred." The newsletter and the Society terminated 
in December 1976. 

People's Computer Company (PCC) 

Robert L. Albrecht founded the People's Computer 
Company and associated Community Computer Center in the 
late 1960's. The company published the PCC Newsletter 
starting in October 1972. The cover of the first 
newsletter stated the "People' s Computer Center is a 
place. ...a place to do things the People's Computer 
Company talks about. ...a place to play with computers - 
at modest prices. ... a place to learn how to use 
computers." It also indicated that "We have a small, 
friendly computer ...an Edu System 20, a time sharing 
terminal that connects us to the world and a Tektronix 
programmable calculator and some simple calculators and 
books to help you learn and ..." 

Community Memory 

Lee Felsenstein who belonged to a group called 
Resource One, helped to organize Community Memory, a 
public information network in the early 1970' s. 
Felsenstein established the organization and system to 
humanize the computer interface and bring computing 
power to the people. It provided free access to a time 
sharing system. The Community Memory system consisted of 
remote teletype terminals located in several storefronts 



19/1 



19/2 PartV Bits and Bytes 

located around Berkeley, California. The system operated 
a bulletin board and enabled people to communicate or 
leave messages. Felsenstein also wanted to replace the 
Teletype units with an easy-to-use machine he called 
"The Tom Swift Terminal." 

Homebrew Computer Club 

At a number of locations in early 1975 in the 
Silicon Valley area, a notice was posted reading 
"Amateur Computer Users Group. Homebrew Computer Club... 
you name it. Are you building your own computer? 
Terminal? TV Typewriter? I/O Device? or some other 
digital black box? Or are you buying time on a time- 
sharing service? If so you might like to come to a 
meeting of people with like-minded interests . " The 
notice had been posted by Fred Moore and Gordon French. 
French was a mechanical engineer and computer hobbyist 
and both had been associated with Robert Albrecht of the 
People's Computer Company. The meeting was held at 
Gordon French's garage in Menlo Park, California on the 
5th of March 1975. About thirty people attended the 
first meeting. Albrecht demonstrated the new Altair 
computer. Another computer enthusiast Steve Dompier 
described his visit to MITS Inc., in Albuguergue, New 
Mexico. Stephen Wozniak also attended this first 
meeting. From this first meeting the Homebrew Computer 
Club was formed. The attendance guickly increased and 
meetings became fortnightly gatherings at the Stanford 
Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) . 

The club was a forum for the interchange of 
information and became a catalyst for the technological 
development of the microcomputer. Gordon French was the 
secretary and librarian. Fred Moore issued the initial 
newsletters highlighting the meeting activities and 
other news. A dominant member was Lee Felsenstein who 
became moderator of the meetings . A number of members of 
the club became entrepreneurs who established their own 
companies. Some of these were, Steve Jobs and Stephen 
Wozniak who founded Apple Computer, Robert Marsh founder 
of Processor Technology. Adam Osborne sold his books on 
microprocessors at the club and Felsenstein would design 
the SOL and Osborne microcomputers . 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/3 

By 1979/80 the Homebrew Computer Club was past its 
peak with other user groups being formed with a focus on 
more specific interests. 

Other Early Groups 

The Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey was 
founded in May 1975 with Sol Libes as the first 
President. Then the Long Island Computer Association of 
New York formed in 1975. The Southern California 
Computer Society (SCCS) began a few months after the 
Homebrew Computer Club in 1975. It was a well organized 
group which guickly grew and had a membership in the 
thousands. The editor of their magazine left to publish 
his own Interface Age periodical. In 1911 , Jonathan 
Rotenberg who was 13 years old at the time, founded the 
Boston Computer Society in 1977. a special interest 
group called SIGPC on personal computing was formed by 
the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) . The first 
chairperson for ACM SIGPC was Portia Isaacson. 

Many other computer clubs were formed during the 
mid 1970' s in the USA and other countries. Two Byte 
magazine articles : "A Computer Hobbyist Club Survey" 
[477] and "Clubs and Newsletters Directory" [478] 
provide additional details of these early organizations. 

Clubs, groups and societies helped to disseminate 
information on personal computers and computing. 
However, other early organizations that provided similar 
input came in various names such as conventions, fairs, 
festivals and shows. 



19/4 PartV Bits and Bytes 

19.2 — Conventions, Fairs and Shows 

World Altair Computer Convention 

The first World Altair Computer Convention (WACC) 
was organized by David Bunnell of MITS, Inc. It was held 
in Albuquerque, New Mexico in March 197 6. This was the 
first microcomputer convention and several hundred 
people attended. 

Trenton Computer Festival 

The Trenton Computer Festival was the first 
regional convention. Sol Libes organized it and the 
Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey sponsored the 
festival that was held in May 1976. 

Personal Computing 76 

The first national microcomputer show was 
organized mainly by John Dilks and co-chaired by James 
Main. The show was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 
August 197 6. The Sol computer and the Apple I computer 
board were introduced at this show. Attendance was 
estimated to be about 4,500 people. 

Computerfest 

Computerfest was a conference for hobbyist 
computing sponsored by the Midwest Affiliation of 
Computer Clubs (MASC) that was first held in Cleveland, 
Ohio in 1976. 

Personal Computing Show! 

Personal Confuting magazine sponsored three shows 
called the Personal Computer Show! in 1977. The First 
Western Show was in Los Angeles in March, The First 
Eastern Show was in Philadelphia in April/May and The 
Fist New England Show was in Boston in June. 

West Coast Computer Faire 

Founded by Jim Warren, the first Faire was in 
April 1977 at the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, 
California. Warren was also the first editor of Dr. 
Dobb's Journal . The Faire was oriented to computer 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/5 

hobbyists and personal computer users. Attendance at the 
first Faire was almost 13,000 with around 180 
exhibiters . In 1983 the Faire was sold to Prentice-Hall, 
Inc . 

COMDEX Shows 

A show organized by a company called The Interface 
Group Inc., which was founded by Sheldon Adelson in 
1973. COMDEX is an acronym for COMputer Dealers' 
Exposition. The show is oriented to computer 
manufacturers , dealers and distributors . The first show 
was held in December 1979. COMDEX has become one of the 
largest computer shows in the world. It holds two major 
shows a year. In winter the show is in Las Vegas and in 
the spring it is in another major city such as Atlanta, 
Chicago or Toronto. 

COMDEX was purchased in 1995 by the Softbank 
Corporation, a large Japanese software distribution 
company. A subsidiary named Softbank COMDEX Inc., now 
operates the COMDEX shows. 

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 

A show for wholesalers and retailers of consumer 
electronic products. It is held twice a year. Las Vegas 
in January and Chicago in June. 

National Computer Conference (NCC) 

It is the largest annual computer show in the data 
processing industry and is sponsored by the American 
Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS) . 
The first national show was held in New York in June 
1973. Personal computing was recognized as a special 
theme by having a Personal Computer Fair and Exposition 
at the June 1977 conference in Dallas, Texas. Following 
this, microcomputer products became a significant group 
of the exhibitors. 

Other Shows 

The first MacWorld Expo was held in Boston in 
August 1985. CeBIT is one of the largest technology 
expositions in the world, and is held annually in 
Hanover, Germany. 



19/6 PartV Bits and Bytes 



19.3 — Historical Organizations 

A significant interest is developing in the 
history of computing within the history of science and 
technology. A number of organizations have been 
organized to support and encourage this specialty. 

The American Computer Museum 

The American Computer Museum was founded by 
Barbara and George Keremedjiev in May 1990 and is 
located in Bozeman, Montana. The museum displays a 
history of computer technology from ancient Babylonian 
and Egyptian times to recent personal computers. The 
museum has items such as: an IBM Tabulating Machine, IBM 
1620 transistorized computer, DEC PDP-8 minicomputer, 
IBM System/360, various personal computers from the 
1970' s and 1980' s and other items of comparative 
technology. Special displays are introduced periodically 
such as items from the Smithsonian Institution and a 
rare mathematical book collection of Erwin Tomash' s . 

For further information contact Barbara 
Keremedjiev at The American Computer Museum Ltd., 234 
East Babcock street, Bozeman, Montana, USA. MT 59715. 
The phone number is (406) 587-7545. 

Charles Babbage Institute (CBI) 

— Center For The History Of Information Processing 

The CBI was established in 1977. A principal in 
the 1977 founding was Erwin Tomash. The first 
headguarters were established in Palo Alto, California 
in April 1978. In the fall of 1980 CBI moved to the 
University of Minnesota. 

The Institute has archives of historic materials 
from pioneers, companies and organizations related to 
computing. It also has photographic archives, oral 
histories, reprint series and data bases of computing 
literature , company developments and information on 
archival holdings outside the CBI. 

A brochure describing the activities and services 
of the Institute is available. A guarterly Newsletter 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/7 

detailing current activities at the CBI and elsewhere 
relating to the history of computing is also available. 

For further information, write to the Charles 
Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, 103 Walter 
Library, 117 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis, 
Minnesota, USA MN 55455. The phone number is (612) 624- 
5050. 

Computer History Association of California 

Kip Crosby founded the Computer History 
Association of California (CHAC) in April 1993. It was 
an educational organization that studied, preserved and 
popularized the history of electronic computing in the 
State of California. The Association published a 
guarterly newsletter called The Analytical Engine. The 
first issue published was July/September 1993 (Volume 
1.1) . The association encountered difficulties in 1997 
and the last issue of The Analytical Engine was Volume 
4.1, Winter 1997. 

The Computer Museum 

The Computer Museum was located in Boston, 
Massachusetts and opened in late 1984. The museum had a 
number of early North American and British computers and 
a collection of manuals, developers notes, technical 
memoranda, marketing materials etc. A collection of 
thousands of photographs, hundreds of video film titles 
and approximately 1,200 books were also at the museum. 

In 1999, The Computer Museum closed at its 300 
Congress Street, Boston location and joined forces with 
the museum of Science, Boston. The Computer museum's 
collection of artifacts resides at The Computer Museum 
History Center in Moffett Field, California. 

The Computer Museum History Center 

The museum was established in 1996 and is 
dedicated to the preservation and celebration of 
computing history. "It is home to one of the largest 
collection' s of computing artifacts in the world, a 
collection comprising over 3,000 artifacts, 2,000 films 
and videotapes, 5,000 photographs, 2,000 linear feet of 
catalogued documentation and gigabytes of software." 



19/8 PartV Bits and Bytes 

For further information write to The Computer 
Museum History Center, Building T-12A, Moffett Federal 
Airfield, Mountain View, California, USA. 94035. 

Historical Computer Society 

The Historical Computer Society was founded by 
Tamara Greelish and David A. Greelish who is the 
director and editor. The society publishes a quarterly 
magazine called Historically Brewed. The first issue was 
August/September 1993. The magazine headline states 
"Since 1993 — What's New in What's Old! --The 
Enthusiast's Magazine of Computer History Nostalgia." 
The society encountered difficulties in 1996, and the 
last issue of Historically Brewed was Issue #9. 

IBM Archives 

The International Business Machines (IBM) 
Corporation established IBM Archives as a separate 
department in 1974. The Archives primary mission is to 
preserve materials documenting the history and evolution 
of IBM and its predecessor companies. The holdings have 
limited information on items after 1982. 

For further information contact IBM Archives, 400 
Columbus Avenue, Valhalla, New York, USA. 10595 

Intel Museum 

Intel Corporation established the Intel Museum in 
Santa Clara, California in February 1992 . The museum 
naturally concentrates on Intel history and has 
interactive video and real-time automated displays. 
Exhibits describe how semiconductor chips are made and 
used . 

For further information contact: Intel Museum, 
Robert Noyce Building, 2200 Mission College Boulevard, 
Santa Clara, California, USA. CA 95052-8119. The phone 
number is (408) 765-0503. 

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 
California has a Computer Museum with a collection of 
early computers. Some of those computers are: Control 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/9 

Data 660, Cray-1, DEC PDP-8, DEC PDP-10 and Commodore 
Pet. 

Additional information can be obtained from 
Lawrence Livermore Computer Museum, Pod F North, 1401 
Almond Avenue, Livermore, California, USA. CA 94550. 

Motorola Museum of Electronics 

Motorola founded the museum in September 1991. The 
museum traces the history of the company and its 
products. It has historical exhibits, audiovisual 
displays and interactive computer displays . 

For further information contact: Motorola Museum 
of Electronics, 1297 East Algonquin Road, Schaumburg, 
Illinois, USA. 60196-1065. The phone number is (847) 
576-6559. 

National Museum of American History 

The Smithsonian Institution' s National Museum of 
American History, has a number of historical computers 
in its collection. Some of the significant early 
mainframe computers and minicomputers are: CRAY-1, 
ENIAC, Harvard Mark 1, UNIVAC and the DEC PDP-8. The 
personal computer holdings include: Apple I and II 
computers, Altair 8800 and other S-100 bus 
microcomputers, IBM PC, Apple Macintosh, Osborne 1, Sun- 
2 workstation, TRS-8 and Xerox Alto. An Information Age 
permanent exhibition displays a number of these 
computers, communications technology and interactive 
workstations are provided for use by visitors. 

For further information contact Jon Eklund, 
Curator of Computer Technology, American Museum of 
American History, Smithsonian Institution, , Washington, 
USA. DC 20560. The phone number is (202) 357-2828. 

Stanford University Libraries 

The Stanford University Libraries acquired the 
historical collections of Apple Computer, Inc., in 
November 1997. The collection includes books, documents, 
hardware, memorabilia, periodicals, software and 
videotapes . 



19/10 PartV Bits and Bytes 

other historical organizations are being started. 
Some of these are the Computer History Association of 
Delaware, Computer History Association of Iowa and 
Cornell University Classic Computer Club. 

19.4 — Retailers and Software Distributors 

Arrowhead Computer Co. —The Computer Store 

This was the first personal computer store and was 
founded by Dick Heiser in West Los Angeles, California 
in July 1975. He was a dealer for Altair microcomputers. 

Byte Shop's 

Paul Terrell became the MITS Altair 8800 
representative for Northern California in 1975 and 
founded Byte Shop's in December. The Byte Shop store 
opened in Mountain View, California and by 197 6 he had 
76 retail stores around the country. Terrell gave Steve 
Jobs an order for 50 Apple I microcomputer boards in 
April 1976. This led eventually to the founding of Apple 
Computer . 

CompUSA 

Mike Henochowicz and Errol Jacobson founded a 
software store called Soft Warehouse Inc., in 1984. The 
company then started opening superstores and selling 
computer hardware. In 1991, the company went public and 
changed its name to CompUSA Inc. The two founders left 
around this time. James F. Halpin became president and 
chief executive officer of what is now the largest 
personal computer products retailer in the USA. In 1998, 
the company started providing custom-built personal 
computers and purchased the Computer City chain of 
stores from Tandy. 

Computer Mart 

Computer Mart was the first computer retail store 
in New York and was founded by Stanley Veit in February 
1976. Computer Mart sold Apple Computer, IMSAI , 
Processor Technology Sol, SwTPC and other computers. It 
also had a large selection of magazines and books. 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/11 

Subsequently a number of other stores opened in other 
parts of the USA with the same name, but different 
owners. They had an informal association then a company 
called XYZ Corporation was formed to enable consolidated 
purchasing and coordinate assistance. However changing 
market conditions resulted in the store closing in 1979. 

ComputerLand 

William H. Millard founded Computer Shack in 
September 1976 and the first president was Edward Faber. 
The company franchised personal computer retail stores 
which at the beginning emphasized the IMSAI 8080 
microcomputer. However due to threatened litigation by 
Tandy Corporation for encroaching on the Radio Shack 
trade name, the name was changed to ComputerLand in 
early 1977. 

The first franchised store opened in February 1977 
in Morristown, New Jersey. By 1984 it was an 
international chain of approximately 700 franchised 
computer stores. 

However in 1984 litigation over a convertible loan 
to IMS Associates (a holding company for ComputerLand) 
resulted in Millard losing 20 percent of the ownership. 
Millard then relinquished control of ComputerLand and 
moved to the Pacific island of Saipan in the spring of 
1986. 

However by 1994 ComputerLand had financial 
problems. This resulted in the franchise and 
distribution portions of ComputerLand being sold to the 
Merisel, Inc., for close to $100 million. Merisel is a 
dominant distributor of hardware and software. 

Computer Store 

This was a retail computer store organization 
founded by Dick Brown and Sid Harrigan in 1975. It had 
the entire USA East Coast distribution rights for Altair 
microcomputers 

Lifeboat Associates 

Lifeboat Associates was founded by Larry Alcoff 
and Tony Gold. The company became a major distributor of 
software in the late 1970 's. One of the early major 



19/12 PartV Bits and Bytes 

products was the CP/M operating system. They also 
developed modified versions of CP/M for North Star 
Computers and other floppy disk drive systems. After the 
release of the IBM PC computer the company also became a 
distributor for Microsoft MS DOS. Lifeboat renamed the 
operating system SB-86 (Software Bus 86) . 

Merisel 

Robert Sherwin Leff started a software 
distribution company called Robwin in April 1980. Robwin 
is a contraction of Left's first and middle names. In 
the summer of that year he formed a partnership with 
David Wagman and in January 1981 the company name was 
changed to Softsel Computer Products . Softsel became one 
of the world' s largest distributors of personal computer 
software during the 1980' s. The company acguired 
Microamerica in 1990, a major hardware distributor, and 
changed the corporate name to Merisel, Inc. 

Personal Software 

Dan Fylstra and Peter Jennings founded Personal 
Software, Inc. in February 1978. The company started 
initially by marketing a game developed by Jennings 
called Microchess and other game programs. Personal 
Software marketed personal computer software in a manner 
similar to book publishers. He would acguire the rights 
of software from the developer and add sophisticated 
marketing and distribution. A significant agreement in 
1979, was for the distribution rights for VisiCalc as 
developed by Daniel Bricklin and Robert Frankston of 
Software Arts. The Personal Software company name was 
changed to VisiCorp in early 1982. 

Software Plus 

Was founded by George Tate and Hal Lashlee in 1980 
as a discount mail-order software service. 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/13 

19.5 — Networks and Services 

Networks 

CIENet 

The concept of the CIE (Community Information 
Exchange) Net was introduced by Mike Wilber at the First 
West Coast Computer Faire in April 1977. Wilber proposed 
this early telecommunications network for personal 
computer users, as a means of exchanging programs and 
files of data. 

Ethernet 

A short local area network developed at the Xerox 
PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) for the Alto research 
computer in late 1973. Two of the principals in the 
development were Robert Metcalfe and David Boggs . It is 
a multi-access broadcast system used to link many 
computer systems with a single coaxial cable. The 
control of access is by a system called CSMA/CD (Carrier 
Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection) . Xerox 
released Ethernet for use outside the corporation in 
1979. 

Internet 

The Internet evolved from the U.S. Government 
ARPANET as described in Section 2.6 and a sister network 
funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for 
academic purposes, called the NSFnet. U.S. Government 
funding was terminated for the ARPANET in 1989 and for 
the NSFnet in April 1995. This resulted in the emergence 
of commercial networks that became loosely known as the 
Internet . 

Internet is a global network of more than 34,000 
smaller networks, public and private. The number of 
users worldwide was estimated to be 304 million by the 
U.S. Department of Commerce in March 2000. The network 
uses the TCP/IP (Transport Control Protocol/Interface 
Program) software specifications. TCP/IP was developed 
by the U.S. Department of Defense for communications 
between computers. 



19/14 PartV Bits and Bytes 



ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) 

ISDN was introduced in the mid 1980 's to combine 
voice and data with about 2 times the throughput. 

PCNET 

After the West Coast Computer Faire in April 1911, 
Dave Caulkins organized a group to design a net which 
became known as PCNET (Personal Computer NETwork) . 

UseNet 

UseNet (for "Users network") is a collection of 
UNIX systems that is a public forum for the exchange of 
ideas and news articles. A group for computer historians 
worldwide is accessed by: alt . folklore . coirputers . 

World Wide Web 

Tim Berners-Lee started developing the concepts 
for the World Wide Web (WWW) for application to the 
Internet at CERN in Switzerland, in 198 9. CERN is an 
acronym for Conceil Europeen pour la Researche 
Nucleaire, (the international council which started the 
laboratory) . CERN is now known as the European Particle 
Physics Laboratory. He had previously developed a 
personal hypertext program called Enquire in 1980. The 
World Wide Web evolved from a desire to link in a 
hypertext manner similar to the capabilities of his 
Enquire program, information resources at CERN and other 
laboratories around the world. The information resources 
included graphics, sound, text and video. Berners-Lee 
designed the hypertext markup language (HTML) for 
encoding documents, the hypertext transfer protocol 
(HTTP) and the universal resource locator (URL) for 
addressing documents (the WWW. whatever system) . This 
became the basis for a global hypertext system that 
Berners-Lee named the World Wide Web (WWW) . 

The WWW program was released to a limited number 
of NeXT computer users at CERN in March 1991 and for 
NeXT users outside CERN in August. The program was then 
converted for other computer users and demonstrated in 
San Antonio, Texas in December 1991. This resulted in an 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/15 

increasing number of users during 1992 and the following 
years . 

On-line Services 

America Online 

Stephen M. Case first got involved with an on-line 
service for Atari games in 1983, at a company called 
Control Video Corporation. The company started to 
encounter financial difficulties in 1984. This resulted 
in Case and entrepreneur James V. Kimsey obtaining 
control of the company and changing its name to Quantum 
Computer Services in 1985. Quantum arranged distribution 
and marketing agreements with Apple Computer, Commodore, 
IBM and Tandy to bundle Quantum' s on-line service called 
Q-Link with their computers. In 1989, the company 
introduced a new service called America Online. Then in 
October 1991, the company changed its name to America 
Online (AOL) , Inc., and went public in March 1992 with 
187,000 subscribers. By 1997, AOL had more than 8 
million subscribers and had become a dominant on-line 
service . 

In September 1997, AOL and a telephone company 
called WorldCom, signed a three-way agreement. This 
resulted in WorldCom purchasing CompuServe, an exchange 
whereby AOL obtained the 2 to 3 million CompuServe 
subscribers and WorldCom obtained AOL' s Internet 
division, and AOL committed to a long-term phone pact 
with WorldCom. AOL is now the largest on-line service 
provider with about 14 million subscribers . 

AOL acguired Netscape Communications Corporation 
for $4.2 billion in November 1998. AOL also signed at 
the same time, a licensing and marketing agreement with 
Sun Microsystems Inc. The company wanted to dramatically 
step up its Web presence by using Netscape's Web sites 
and software. 

CompuServe 

Jeffrey Wilkins founded CompuServe Corporation as 
a computer service to an insurance company in 1970. 
Wilkins expanded the company into a computer time 
sharing service to provide personal computer users 



19/16 PartV Bits and Bytes 

access to large data banks of information in 1978 . This 
new service was named MicroNET. It also became a popular 
means whereby computer users could exchange information 
via bulletin boards. 

The company was acguired by H & R Block Inc., and 
the service name changed from MicroNET to CompuServe 
Information Services in 1980. The company provided a 
diverse range of services which included: bulletin 
board, business data, computer technology information, 
educational reference, electronic mall shopping, 
entertainment, home and health, money markets, news and 
weather, sports and travel. 

By 1997, CompuServe was encountering difficulties 
and was losing market share to companies such as America 
Online and Microsoft. This resulted in the company being 
sold to WorldCom in September. 

Delphi 

General Videotex Corporation started an on-line 
service named Delphi in 1982. To expand the service. 
General Videotex purchased the Byte magazine BIX (Byte 
Information Exchange) on-line service in January 1992. 

Dow Jones News/Retrieval 

The Dow Jones News/Retrieval service was provided 
by Dow Jones and Company Inc. 

GEnie 

GEnie is an on-line service started by the General 
Electric Company in 1985. GEnie is an acronym for 
"General Electric network for information exchange." 

Prodigy 

The Prodigy Services Company was founded in 1984 
by CBS, IBM and Sears, Roebuck and Company. CBS withdrew 
its investment in Prodigy in 198 7. 

The Source 

The Telecomputing Corporation of America was 
founded by William von Meister in 1979. The company 
provided an on-line information service for personal and 
business users called The Source. The Reader ' s Digest 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/17 

organization purchased the company in 1981. Then The 
Source was purchased by CompuServe and its subscribers 
merged that service in 1989. 

19.6 — Associations 

ACE (Advance Computing Environment) 

ACE was founded in April 1991 by twenty companies 
led by Compaq, DEC, Microsoft, MIPS Computer Systems and 
the Santa Cruz Operation. The alliance was formed to 
develop a new standard for an "advanced computing 
environment." The consortium's intent was to develop 
compliant systems that would accommodate Microsoft's 
object oriented operating system, RISC personal 
computers and UNIX operating systems . However Compaq 
left the ACE initiative in April 1992. 

APDA (Apple Programmer's and Developer's Association) 

Apple Computer and the A.P.P.L.E. (Apple 
Pugetsound Program Library Exchange) user group 
sponsored the founding of the Apple Programmer's and 
Developer's Association (APDA) in August 1985. Apple 
Computer promoted the founding of APDA initially to 
disseminate Macintosh computer technical information for 
outside software development. The organization provides 
up-to-date technical information and preliminary 
material from Apple Computer. Apple Computer assumed 
full control of APDA in December 1988. 

DMTF (Desktop Management Task Force) 

DMTF was formed in 1992 to develop a common 
framework for managing PC computer systems . The founders 
were Digital Equipment Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, 
IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, SunSoft and SynOptics 
Communications. The group developed the Desktop 
Management Interface (DMI) specification for desktop 
hardware and software in March 1974. It is also 
developing a Management Information Format (MIF) that 
will act as a central database for DMI . 



19/18 PartV Bits and Bytes 

EIA (Electronic Industries Association) 

The EIA is a North American standards organization 
for computer equipment. A popular standard is RS-232C 
for connecting computers to modems and terminals . 

ICC (International Color Consortium) 

The ICC was formed in March 1994 by Adobe, Agfa, 
Apple Computer, Kodak, Microsoft, Silicon Graphics, Sun 
Microsystems and Taligent. The consortium was formed to 
establish a common device profile format for color. 

MIC (Microfloppy Industry Committee) 

MIC was an association of over 30 companies that 
was formed in May 1982 to establish a microfloppy media 
standard. This committee was responsible for the 
adoption of the 3.5-inch hard-cartridge disk standard in 
September 1982. 

Microcomputer Industry Trade Association 

This association was founded in 1979. 

OSF (Open Software Foundation) 

The Open Software Foundation (OSF) was an 
organization of initially seven companies that was 
formed in May 1988. The foundation which included the 
Digital Equipment Corporation, Hewlett-Packard and IBM 
was formed to develop a unified UNIX operating system 
standard independent of AT&T. It was a reaction to the 
alliance formed in April 198 8 between AT&T and Sun 
Microsystems to develop a unified UNIX system. 

Since the release of UNIX in 1969, many different 
versions of the operating system had been developed by 
various organizations. The different versions had unique 
characteristics that affected the portability of the 
operating system and inhibited the development of 
application software. 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/19 

PowerPC Alliance 

Apple Computer, IBM and Motorola made an early 
announcement of the formation of the PowerPC Alliance in 
July 1991, followed by a final agreement in October. The 
companies formed the alliance to jointly develop new 
emerging technologies. Five of the joint initiatives 
were microprocessor technology, object-oriented 
technology, multimedia technology, interconnectivity and 
networking to provide an open systems environment. IBM 
and Motorola agreed to jointly develop a broad range of 
microprocessors based on IBM's POWER architecture. 

Apple and IBM agreed to form a joint venture 
company called Taligent that would develop a new 
operating system. Joseph M. Guglielmi who had been an 
IBM executive on the OfficeVision and OS/2 software 
development, was selected to head the new Taligent 
company in early 1992 . The new operating system would be 
based on object-oriented design principles incorporated 
in the Apple Computer Pink project. 

Apple and IBM also agreed to form another joint 
venture company called Kaleida to develop multimedia 
technologies . Nathaniel Goldhaber who had worked with 
Apple Computer on new multimedia technology was selected 
to head the new Kaleida company in mid 1992. 

The three companies also agreed to develop a 
PowerOpen environment project for support of IBM AIX and 
Macintosh applications. Finally Apple and IBM agreed to 
develop solutions that would allow their systems to 
interact more effectively. 

Software Publishers Association 

The Software Publishers Association (SPA) is an 
organization representing individual software 
developers . It was founded to promote and protect the 
rights of software publishers. It has a special interest 
in the illicit copying of software products. The SPA 
merged with another association in January 1999, to form 
the Software & Information Industry Association. 



19/20 PartV Bits and Bytes 

VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) 

VESA is a group of companies who have organized to 
establish industry standards for video cards and 
monitors . 



19.7 — Other Companies and People 

The following provides information on companies 
and people of significance in the personal computer 
industry, that have not been detailed previously in the 
book . 

Companies 

Amazon 

Amazon Inc., was founded by Jeffrey Bezos in July 
1994 as an online Internet bookstore. The website became 
operational in July 1995. It has since expanded its 
products to include items such as: compact disks, 
computer products and auctions. In 1998 it had sales of 
$610 million. The November 29, 1999 issue of Forbes 
magazine estimated Bezos' s wealth at $7.3 billion. Then 
in the December 27 issue of Time magazine, he was 
featured on the cover as "Person of the Year." 

ATI 

Kwok Yuen Ho, Lee Lau and Benny Lau founded ATI 
Technologies Inc. in Toronto, Canada in 1985. ATI went 
public in November 1993. Ho is the chief executive 
officer of the company that is now a leading producer of 
desktop graphics systems . 

Brother 

Brother International Corporation is a leading 
supplier of fax machines, labeling devices, printers and 
word processors. Hiromi Gun j i became the chairman, 
president and chief executive officer in 198 6. 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/21 

Cisco 

Cisco Systems, Inc., was founded in 1984 by 
Leonard Bosack, Sandra Lerner and three colleagues Kirk 
Lougheed, Greg Satz and Bill Westfield. The company is a 
market leader in the networking industry. The products 
are data routers, network software, servers and 
switches . The company received financing from venture 
capitalist Donald Valentine' s company Seguoia Capital in 
1988. Valentine purchased controlling interest in the 
company and hired John P. Morgridge as president and 
chief executive officer. In 1990, the company went 
public and Bosack and Lerner left the company. Morgridge 
became chairman in 1995 and John T. Chambers who had 
joined the company in 1991, succeeded him as president 
and CEO. Cisco has acguired numerous companies since 
1993 and has become a dominant supplier of products for 
the Internet. This has also resulted in Cisco attaining 
a market capitalization in 2000, as the most valuable 
company in the world. 

Computer Intelligence 

Computer Intelligence Infocorp is a computer 
market research unit of the Ziff-Davis Publishing 
Company. 

Dataquest 

Dataguest is a subsidiary of the Gartner Group 

Inc. The company is a dominant supplier of information 

technology research. It provides forecasts, market 

analysis, statistics and summaries of research to 
subscribers . 

eBay 

Pierre Omidyar founded AuctionWeb in the fall of 
1995, that shortly after became eBay Inc. In early 1996, 
Omidyar brought in Jeff Skoll: a friend and Stanford 
M.B.A. as a partner. Meg Whitman who was a marketing 
executive, was also recruited as the chief executive 
officer in early 1998 . The company had become very 
successful and went public in September 1998 . 



19/22 PartV Bits and Bytes 

Egghead 

victor Aldhadeff founded Egghead Discount Software 
in Bellevue, Washington in 1984. Aldhadeff made buying 
software a more friendly experience. The company 
subseguently became Egghead, Inc., and went public in 
1988. A rapid expansion to 112 stores led to financial 
losses and Aldhadef f ' s resignation in 1989. Egghead 
closed all its physical stores in 1989 and now sells 
exclusively through the Internet. Terence M. Strom is 
now the president and chief executive officer. 

General Magic 

Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld and Marc Porat 
founded General Magic in 1990. The company developed an 
operating system called Magic Cap for personal digital 
assistants (PDA's) . 

GT Interactive 

Joseph J. Cayre was a principal in the founding of 
GT Interactive Software Corporation in 1992. The company 
is a major publisher of game software and became a 
public company in 1995. 

id Software 

Adrian Carmack, John Carmack, Tom Hall and John 
Romeo founded id Software, Inc., in 1990. The company 
develops game software and uses shareware to release the 
games . 

Kingston Technology 

David Sun and John Tu founded Kingston Technology 
Corporation in 1987. The company is a major supplier of 
memory enhancement chip clusters and other personal 
computer peripherals . 

Logitech 

Daniel Borel and Pierluigi Zappacosta met at 
Stanford University and founded Logitech International 
SA in 1981. The company obtained the rights to a Swiss- 
designed mouse in 1981 and is now a major producer of 
mice and other computer input devices. 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/23 

Lycos 

Michael Mauldin developed a search engine 
algorithm for gathering data and information on the 
World Wide Web. CMG@Ventures bought the rights to 
Mauldin' s technology and founded Lycos Inc. in 1995. The 
company name is derived from the wolf family of spiders 
that Mauldin compared his algorithm to. Lycos owns a 
network of related but separate Web sites and has become 
a popular portal for Internet users. Robert Davis is the 
chief executive officer and the company went public in 
April 1996. 

Macromedia 

Macromedia, Inc., is a multimedia software company 
formed in 1992 from the merger of three other companies. 
John C. Colligan is the chairman, president and chief 
executive officer. 

Micronics 

Micronics Computers, Inc., makes motherboards for 
original eguipment manufacturers. Dean Chang, Minsiu 
Huang and Harvey Wong founded the company in 198 6. 

Paul Alien Group 

Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, founded 
the Paul Allen Group in March 1994, as an umbrella 
organization for his various ventures. Vern Raburn, who 
had also been at Microsoft, became the president and 
chief executive officer. One of his ventures is the 
Asymetrix Corporation that he founded in 1985 to create 
multimedia development software. 

Pixar 

Steven P. Jobs founded Pixar Animation Studios 
after purchasing the computer-graphics division of 
Lucasfilm for $10 million in 1986. Pixar developed a 
highly successful computer-animated film called Toy 
Story in 1995. The film was created using software 
systems also developed by Pixar. 



19/24 PartV Bits and Bytes 

PointCast 

PointCast Inc., was founded in 1992 as a company 
that delivers information and news through the Internet. 
The company introduced PointCast Network in 1996. The 
chief executive officer is Christopher R. Hassett. 

SAP AG 

Systems Applications Products (SAP) is a German 
software company founded in April 1972 . The company was 
founded by former IBM system engineers Hans-Werner 
Hector, Dietmar Hopp, Hasso Plattner, Klaus Tschira and 
Claus Wellenreuther . Its first product was a financial 
accounting system called R/1. Following this a mainframe 
version called R/2 was released and subseguently a more 
extensive version called R/3 was released. SAP went 
public in 1988 and is now one of the world's largest 
software companies . 

SCI Systems 

Olin B. King and two associates founded Space 
Craft, Inc. in 1961 and subsequently renamed the company 
SCI Systems, Inc. The company initially specialized in 
contract engineering and electronic systems for the U.S. 
space industry. In the 1970' s SCI produced sub- 
assemblies for IBM terminals and in 1981 they began 
building circuit boards for the IBM Personal Computer. 
In 1984, the company started producing complete personal 
computers for other companies that resold them under 
their own label. SCI Systems is not a well known 
personal computer company. It is however, a major 
computer technology company. 

Softbank 

Softbank Corporation was founded by Masayoshi Son 
in 1981. The company is the largest distributor of 
software in Japan. Softbank acquired COMDEX shows in 
1995 and Ziff-Davis Publishing Company in early 1996. 



Other Companies, Organizations and People 19/25 

Wang Laboratories 

An Wang founded Wang Laboratories, Inc., in 1951. 
The company became one of the largest suppliers of 
dedicated screen-based word processing systems in the 
mid 1970' s. However, it did not make a successful 
transition to personal computers, and the appointment of 
his oldest son as president in 1986 aggravated the 
problems at the company. The company then began to 
encounter severe financial difficulties in the late 
1980' s that resulted in it filing for bankruptcy 
protection in mid 1992. The company is now focusing on 
software and systems consulting and management. 



People 

Alsop 

Stewart Alsop is a columnist for the Fortune 
magazine and runs a fall computer industry conference 
called Agenda. He is also a partner in a venture capital 
firm. 

Brockman 

John Brockman and his partner Katinka Matson 
developed a successful New York literary agency called 
Brockman, Inc., in the 1970' s. In 1983, Brockman 
announced a transition in his company to also be a 
software agency. He represented software developers in 
the marketing of software to major New York publishers. 
Brockman is also the author of a number of books that 
includes Dlgeratl : Encounters with the Cyber Elite 
[128] . 

Dyson 

Esther Dyson was a New York security analyst who 
joined Ben Rosen's investment company and took over the 
management of his Rosen Electronics Letter. In the early 
1980' s, during the time Ben Rosen became the chairman of 
Compaq Computer Corporation and a director of Lotus 
Development Corporation, Dyson purchased the newsletter 
and renamed it Release 1.0. She is editor of the monthly 
newsletter and runs an annual spring conference called 



19/26 PartV Bits and Bytes 

PC Forum. These and other activities place Dyson in a 
significant role in the communication and dissemination 
of information related to the personal computer 
industry. 

Knuth 

Donald E. Knuth is a scholar noted for his major 
contributions to computer technology. His multi-volume 
text entitled The Art of Coiaputer Programming has 
received wide acclaim. 

Negroponte 

Nicholas Negroponte is a founder and director of 
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media 
Laboratory. The laboratory is focusing on the study and 
experimentation of future forms of human and computer 
communication. In 1992, Negroponte co-founded the Wired 
magazine of which he is a senior columnist. Negroponte 
is also the author of being digital [203] . 

Winblad 

Ann Winblad is the co-founder of a venture capital 
company specializing in start-up software firms. She has 
also been a friend of Bill Gates for a number of years .